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 December 17, 2004
The Hong Kong Tourism Board New Leisure Guide For Business Travellers

 Business travellers from overseas have always been important in Hong Kong. In fact, they are major contributors to Hong Kong's visitor arrivals and, on average, 29% of Canadian visitors go to the region for business purposes. Not only do they do business in the region itself, but they also view Hong Kong as the hub of Asia, arranging business schedules to include Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia. And as Hong Kong is an exciting destination in itself, many travellers extend a business trip into a mini-vacation, taking along family members or friends. It is with those travellers in mind that the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is delighted to announce the launch of a new travel guide -- the Hong Kong Leisure Guide for Business Travellers. As its title suggests, this information-packed guide is specifically designed to help business travellers maximize and enhance their valuable leisure time while they are in Hong Kong and to encourage them to extend their business trip into a mini vacation with family or friends.

It is a well-known fact that business travellers in Hong Kong are mostly repeat visitors who are engaged with business appointments during the day, but who may welcome recommendations on leisure time activities. Thus the guide has been designed with tips and recommendations on convenient shopping, memorable sightseeing, sporting activities and a variety of exciting after-hours activities. The guide also offers a wide range of 'Amazing Offers' for free gifts and discounts on shopping, dining and entertainment.

The guide is divided into sections, with each segment providing the business traveller with 'at-a-glance' guides to Shopping, Dining, Entertainment, Sightseeing and Sports. There is also a section entitled 'Useful Information' which gives details of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, investment and currency information, fax and free internet access points, hotel reservation options, major transportation routes and location maps.

The 'Shopping' section first details the major shopping malls and department stores in the region and then lists the renowned special markets that are so popular with bargain hunters. It also suggests some Hong Kong 'must buy' products -- handicrafts, jewellery, clothing, tea and tableware -- and the Chinese emporiums where such goods are available. And, for those busy travellers who really do run out of time, the publication reminds its readers of the great shopping available at the International Airport. Each entry gives addresses and telephone numbers, opening hours, website addresses for an advance 'look' and transportation details with links to the booklet's maps.

Dining is an important factor on any business trip, whether it's with important business colleagues or for casual relaxation. But there are around 9,000 restaurants in Hong Kong, so making a decision can be difficult, especially for visitors. The Hong Kong Leisure Guide for Business Travellers is an invaluable aide in this regard, with its four clearly-defined sections covering eating in the region. First, Hong Kong's major dining districts are defined, then the informal areas popular with seafood lovers such as waterfront villages and easy-to-reach islands are listed together with a list of the best places for local delicacies. But if only the best will do, business hosts will appreciate the list of 'Best of the Best' ... the restaurants that have been awarded the 'Gold with Distinction' accolade over recent years. Each entry lists the establishment's address and telephone number, opening hours and, in the case of the "Best of the Best", the price range for lunches and dinners.

When dining is done, the night is far from over. Hong Kong residents and their visitors enjoy a wide range of entertainment options and special events. From lively pubs to intimate bars, from nightclubs with dancing and music to cultural events and movies, this information, or how to find it, is all listed in the new guide.

Very often, wise business travellers take family and friends along on a business journey and extend their business trip into a mini-vacation. Again the new guide can help, as it contains a section devoted to sightseeing, divided into 'Scheduled Tours', 'Do-It-Yourself Tours' and 'More Ways to Enjoy Hong Kong' sections. The scheduled tours are further divided into lists of tours of 'less than 3 hours', '3 to 5 hours' and 'more than 5 hours'. The suggestions range from spectacular helicopter trips and romantic dinner cruises to day-long heritage and country tours. The 'do-it-yourself' section helps visitors with transportation details to such popular sites as The Peak, while 'more ways to enjoy Hong Kong' suggests nine themed walks to maximize enjoyment of the city or Hong Kong's many quiet green spaces while getting some exercise.

For many, the best way to relax and let off steam is to play golf, go jogging or place a bet at the racetrack. Hong Kong is the perfect place and the Hong Kong Leisure Guide for Business Travellers can help. Under the heading 'The Sporting Life', it gives details of the region's golf courses and driving ranges, lists popular jogging locations and tells how to go to the races. Racing fans can, of course, join the excited crowds in the stands, or visitors to Hong Kong can take advantage of the Hong Kong Jockey Club's special 'Tourist Badge'. This badge provides access to the Club's exclusive members' enclosure and offers the assistance of a customer relations officer to guide the guest in all aspects of racing procedures.

Information is a valuable commodity, but special offers are even more valuable, and the Hong Kong Leisure Guide for Business Travellers contains a tantalizing selection of free gifts and discount coupons. Detailed in a section of the guide entitled 'Amazing Offers', these special offers are valid until 30 April, 2005. They include discounts and free gifts in a variety of famous-name clothing shops, respected jewellery showrooms and unique emporiums that sell popular items such as tea and ginseng products. Restaurants and bars are also featured prominently in the 'Amazing Offers', where specials range from 'buy-one, get-one-free' coupons on set menus and/or drinks to discounts ranging from 10% - 30% off various menus.

Time is precious on a business trip. But that doesn't mean there isn't time for leisure ... in fact, as any successful business person will attest, it's important to re-charge batteries while working. So, whether the choice is shopping, dining, sightseeing or enjoying a sporting event -- alone or with colleagues, family or friends -- this guide gives many suggestions and all the information necessary to make plans a reality. All this, combined with the 'Amazing Offers', makes the Hong Kong Leisure Guide for Business Travellers a truly valuable tool for visitors to Hong Kong.